Everyone wants a car. It's the symbol of progress and affluence, your ability to defy economic hardship and the ultimate in convenience for getting around town. While owning a car isn't always easy, the biggest hurdle is often the price of purchasing one. To that end, some people may want to look at more affordable segment of the market, where cars are under PHP 500,000 and more accessible to those with decent, stable incomes.
1. BAIC MZ40 1.2 Comfort (MT) (PHP 468,000)
The BAIC MZ40 WeVan has everything a Filipino could want in a basic automobile package. It has good air conditioning, simple and easy to maintain mechanical systems and a very affordable price. A 1.2L VV engine pushes 86 horsepower and the top speed plateaus at 140km/h, but the minivan can hit 10-12km/l in a mixed city running. It's also available in a slightly more expensive luxury model, the MZ40 1.2 Luxury (MT) for PHP 488,000.
2. Foton Gratour 8-Seater (MT) (PHP 490,000)
Foton's Gratour came out last year, also known as the Gratour-V. It's Foton's most affordable minivan, a tiny vehicle with a G03 Euro4 1.2L gas engine pushing 85 horsepower. Despite its small size, the Gratour can seat 7 to 8 adults, making it an excellent Filipino family van. It's also available in a seven-seater model for the same price – the Gratour 7-Seater.
3. Haima 1 1.2 Deluxe (MT) (PHP 499,000)
The Haima 1 is a small hatchback powered by a 1.2L 16-valve engine with a maximum output of 91 horsepower, hitting a top speed of 150km/h. The Haima 1 has a focus on fuel economy and is rated for 19km/l for highway driving.
4. Lifan LF320 (MT) (PHP 498,000)
The Lifan LF320 is a mini that takes a page out of BMW's Mini Cooper playbook. The result feels more like the Suzuki Swift than BMW's iconic mini, but that is the price you pay for affordability. The LF320 is driven by a 1.3L engine pushing out 87 horsepower and can seat four people quite comfortably.
5. Lifan LF520 1.3 DX (MT) (PHP 498,000)
The Lifan LF520 on the other hand, is the bigger brother and is a sub-compact sedan in the Vios and City territory. It has a 1.3L engine packing 87 horsepower, with a 5.8km/l mileage. It's currently the cheapest 4-door sedan you can find in the local market today.
6. Suzuki Alto 800 (MT) (PHP 398,000)
The Suzuki Alto fills in the gap in Suzuki's lineup between the Swift and the Splash and comes equipped with a 1.0L engine pushing 67 horsepower. It hits a top speed of 100km/h, but that's pretty much all you can expect from a 1.0L engine. Still, you will not find much on the market as affordable as the Alto, and that alone makes it a very attractive prospect. The Alto is also available in pricier deluxe model – the Alto 800 Deluxe (MT) for PHP 438,000.
7. Suzuki APV Carry Pickup (MT) (PHP 465,000)
Suzuki has what is likely the most affordable APV on the market, and it comes in well under half a million. This Suzuki APV comes with a low price tag offering a 1.6L engine producing 91 horsepower. Suzuki rates it at 12km/l, which isn't half bad for a van of this size.
8. Toyota Wigo 1.0 E (MT) (PHP 473,000)
The Toyota Wigo is a small car, half the price of a Corolla yet still proudly Toyota. Its 1.0L engine pushes 67 horsepower and will net you around 10km/l for city driving, and around 18km/l for highway driving. The WiGo is still spacious enough to comfortably seat four adults and is Toyota's cheapest car on the market.
9. Geely LC (MT) (PHP 499,000)
The Geely LC, formerly known as the Panda, bears a vague resemblance to the Chinese animal when looked upon from the front, but what's important is the 1.3L engine with 85 horsepower and does around 15.3km/l. The Geely LC has similar size, style, and performance with the Yaris, for those looking for a cheaper option.
10. Chery QQ3 (MT) (PHP 499,000)
The Chery QQ3 is a hatchback with a 1.0L engine generating 67 horsepower. The Chery QQ was one of the first Chinese cars to hit the market and at the time people were amazed at the incredibly low price, which was under PHP 200,000 brand new. Today, the price for the newer QQ3 model has gone up, but it's still one of the most affordable cars you can get on the market today.
All in all, if you are looking for an affordable car, there are many options on the market. Most are Chinese cars, but if you are looking for something Japanese you certainly have the option for it as well.